Favorite films » A Fish Called Wanda (1988), Charles Crichton “Let me correct you on a few things: Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not ‘every man for himself.’ And the London Underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked them up.”
In Disney’s animated version of Beauty and the Beast, the movie’s heroine, Belle, is a big fan of reading while her father, Maurice, is an inventor. Indeed, it is while traveling to sell his latest brainwave, a wood-chopping machine, that Maurice winds up imprisoned at the Beast’s enchanted castle.
However, in a new, exclusive image from Disney’s forthcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast (out March 17) Emma Watson’s Belle and Kevin Kline’s Maurice are shown by a work table covered in music boxes. What gives? Well, it turns out that in the forthcoming Bill Condon-directed movie it is Belle who is the inventor while Maurice constructs the aforementioned music-makers.
“In the animated movie, it’s her father who is the inventor, and we actually co-opted that for Belle,” says Watson. “I was like, ‘Well, there was never very much information or detail at the beginning of the story as to why Belle didn’t fit in, other than she liked books. Also what is she doing with her time?’ So, we created a backstory for her, which was that she had invented a kind of washing machine, so that, instead of doing laundry, she could sit and use that time to read instead. So, yeah, we made Belle an inventor.”
The music boxes also play a role in adding dimension to Watson’s character.
“Kevin Kline as Maurice, is making all these music boxes that have to tell the story of Belle not traveling,” says the film’s set decorator, Katie Spencer. “She’s overprotected in a way, by her father, because she’s lost her mother. So, we’ve made all these music boxes that represent different countries of the world, so she can see what she’s missing.”
KK: More and more actresses in their 40s and 50s are still working and getting key roles. Well, three of them are—you, Helen Mirren, and Meryl Streep. What are the reasons for this? SW:I don’t think it’s any more than it used to be, if you look at the character roles of the ’30s and ’40s. But I think one of the reasons the roles are coming to us is because, with someone like Meryl, people can count on her to turn in these amazing performances that [moviegoers] will go out to see. Writers are writing stories with good women’s parts because women are a part of our world. We’re much more integrated than we used to be.
Great interview with Sigourney Weaver by Kevin Kline!